Gemma Kilburn explains why the replacement of an ageing water heater is an easy way to improve your sustainability.
The implementation of changes to the European wide, EcoDesign of Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive and Labelling Directive (LD) in 2015, led to a renewed focus on how to reduce the environmental impact of older water heaters. Gemma Kilburn, Product Manager at Andrews Water Heaters explains how making the switch from an ageing, inefficient water heater could be the easy answer to ‘going green’ in 2019:
Since its introduction in 2015, the ErP Directive has played a leading role in combatting emissions and improving the energy-efficiency of commercial and domestic products alike. On the 26th of September 2018, the ErP Directive, introduced a mandate that all gas-fired water heaters with an output equal to or less than 400kw, have NOx emissions of less than 56 mg/kWh. Those that fail to meet the low NOx standards were classified as non-compliant.
The ErP changes may look like another bureaucratic hurdle which specifiers can be left having to explain to customers, but they serve a vital function – meeting three main energy-related objectives for 2020:
• A 20% improvement in the EU’s energy efficiency
• Raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%
• A 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels
According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), 18% of carbon dioxide emissions came from commercial businesses . This means that there is considerable scope for reducing commercial emissions by upgrading older water heaters to those that comply with the latest standards on efficiency and NOx emissions. Indeed, there could be a 20% reduction in energy consumption and emissions when replacing older equipment with ErP compliant products.
With manufacturers now having a clear obligation to inform buyers about the efficiency of their products, contractors and specifiers will be better placed to explain product and system efficiencies to those customers looking to ‘go green’ and replace their ageing water heaters.
The ECOflo Compact, high efficiency condensing floor standing storage water heater, for instance, has low NOx of 22-27mg and an ErP efficiency rating of ‘A’, making it ideally suited to owners of commercial premises looking to reduce their environmental impact. Specifiers and contractors will be well-placed to explain to customers the importance of ensuring that their water heater is low NOx, while maintaining a high ErP efficiency rating.
It can be all too easy to perceive a water heater to be another appliance that is ‘out of sight’ and therefore, ‘out of mind’. With the cost of heating water in commercial premises likely to exceed 10% of a business’s energy bill businesses will soon have the high costs of an inefficient water heating system at the forefront of their mind.
So ensuring that costs are kept low is a vitally important part of the specification process, after all, environmentally-friendly changes needn’t be a financial burden. It’s important to note therefore, that specifying a water heater that is larger than that required by the business can result in higher energy costs due to heating more water than what is needed, leading to ‘easy-environmentalism’ becoming the high-cost option.
Specifying a water heater that is too large can also result in excess financial costs – the upfront investment in the water heater itself coupled with the longer-term operating costs can leave some business owners regretting their decision to upgrade their water heater. That is why it is important for the specifier to get to know the requirements of the business, including peak demand and operating hours, to ensure that ‘going green’ doesn’t end up putting them out of pocket in the short term and facing rising costs in the future.
Businesses that make the environmentally-friendly choice to upgrade to an energy-efficient water heater can benefit from knowing that they are reducing one of the major costs associated with ageing water heaters - fuel usage. Unlike some older water heaters which suffer from an inefficient use of fuel – resulting in higher running costs - upgraded, ErP-compliant water heaters such as the are designed to provide a more efficient use of fuel – saving energy and costs.
‘Going green’ in 2019 doesn’t have to be a difficult process or a financial burden. Manufacturers have developed ErP compliant water heaters that can reduce harmful emissions and lower overall operating costs for a business, leading to maximum financial savings and enhanced green credentials.
With the help of eco-minded specifiers and contractors, businesses can easily ditch their ageing water heaters in favour of those meeting the most recent Eco Design requirements to make the UK a cleaner, greener more energy efficient place to be.
Gemma Kilburn is product manager at Andrews Water Heaters